Market Analysis

A Normal September Resale Market

October 5, 2021

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,607 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,314 in September 2020, a decrease of 31 per cent. September’s sales included 1,244 in the residential-property class, down 29 per cent from a year ago, and 363 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 36 per cent from September 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in September is 1,648.

“As per usual, the resale market in the early part of the month moved slowly due to the Labour Day holiday weekend and parents settling their children back into their school routines. Activity began to accelerate towards the end of the month, which is behaviour typical of the market in September,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright.

“Although the statistics are showing a considerable year-over-year decrease in transactions, this anomaly is due to the shift of the 2020 market’s peak activity to the summer and fall months as a result of the initial Covid-19 lockdown last spring. If we look beyond the comparison to last year, the number of transactions in September was 4% higher than in 2019 (1,547) and 16% higher than 2018 (1,387),” she adds.

September’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $425,362, an increase of 14 per cent from last year, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $702,155, an increase of 13 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $720,492 for residential and $421,062 for condominiums, these values represent a 25 per cent and 17 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*

“House values are holding steady with a slight month-to-month increase (4-5%) in September and year-to-date average prices remaining strong for both residential and condo properties. Of course, these price escalations that we saw in the first quarter of 2021 and now recurring in September are inevitable given the supply challenges we have been experiencing for several years now combined with the unrelenting high demand,” Wright explains.

“While inventory has improved slightly from the pre-pandemic years (2017-2019), it is still the principal cause for concern with just over one month’s supply in the housing stock at this time. There were 2,252 new listings in September, an increase of 216 units over August; however, the number still falls beneath the five-year average and is much lower than this month in September 2020 (2,906).”

“With the election behind us, we hope the government will now concentrate on addressing supply issues and developing first-time homebuyer assistance touted in their reelection platform. Together with our REALTOR® Members and our provincial and federal counterparts, we will continue to advocate for availability and affordability in the Ottawa housing market and implore all three levels of government to implement effective measures to help all Canadians turn their homeownership dreams into reality,” Wright concludes.

OREB Members also assisted clients with renting 3,598 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 2,536 at this time last year.

* OREB cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.